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O’Rourke backs off impeachment, says voting Trump out of office in 2020 is better idea

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Beto O'Rourke takes heat for website's different messages in different languages

Beto O’Rourke said in a new interview that the “best way” to oust President Trump would be to vote him out of office in 2020, rather than pursuing impeachment.

The former three-term congressman from Texas on Thursday launched his much-anticipated bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. During his Senate campaign against GOP Sen. Ted Cuz, he said Trump should be impeached. But now that he’s all in for 2020, he told CBS News in an interview that the ballot box is a better route to take.

BETO O’ROURKE MAKES 2020 RUN OFFICIAL WITH EARLY MORNING ANNOUNCEMENT 

“I think the American people are going to have a chance to decide this at the ballot box in November 2020, and perhaps that’s the best way for us to resolve these outstanding questions,” he said, in an interview conducted on the campaign trail in Iowa hours after he announced his presidential run,

He also called for raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations and defended his credentials to serve as president — saying he has experience “hiring people” and “creating jobs.”

O’Rourke explained that he still believed the president deserved to be impeached, saying “it’s beyond a shadow of a doubt to me that, if there was not collusion, there was at least the effort to collude with a foreign power, beyond the shadow of a doubt that if there was not obstruction of justice, there certainly was the effort to obstruct justice.”

Still, his comments may not sit well with many progressive Democratic primary voters, who are hungry to impeach the president.

MEDIA’S BETOMANIA BOOSTS O’ROURKE: KURTZ

The president has repeatedly denied any collusion between his 2016 presidential campaign and Russia to try and interfere with the presidential election.

O’Rourke said Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey in 2017 and his tweeting to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to bring an end the Russia investigation were potential examples of obstruction of justice. But he acknowledged that any decision to impeach the president was up to Congress and earlier this week the top Democrat on Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, made clear she opposes impeaching Trump at this time because it would be too divisive.

“How Congress chooses to address those set of facts and the findings which I believe [we] are soon to see from the Mueller report is up to them,” he said.

O’Rourke said “yes” when asked in the interview if he would raise taxes on the wealthy.

“I think corporations should be asked to pay a greater share, O’Rourke said. “I think the wealthiest at a time of historic income inequality should be asked to pay a greater share. I don’t know what the levels should be at.”

Pelosi was asked Thursday about O’Rourke’s accomplishments in the House during his three terms representing El Paso in Congress. She failed to pinpoint any specifics and instead spotlighted his “vitality.”

Questioned whether he had the experience to serve in the Oval Office, O’Rourke gave an answer that’s likely to invite criticism, saying “it depends on what kind of experience you’re looking for. I’ve got experience hiring people, creating jobs, developing the economy of the community in which I live, serving in local government, with Amy (his wife) helping to raise a family.”

Hours after the launch of his campaign, O’Rourke was criticized by Trump.

“Well I think he’s got a lot of hand movement, I’ve never seen so much hand movement,” the president told reporters. “I said is he crazy or is that just the way he acts? So I’ve never seen hand movement — I watched him a little while this morning — doing I assume it was some kind of a news conference. And I’ve actually never seen anything quite like it,” the president said.

Trump himself is known for expressive hand gestures, however, and O’Rourke brushed off the comments.

“I’m pretty animated,” O’Rourke acknowledged during his CBS News interview. “I am who I am.”

And responding to Trump’s criticism, O’Rourke said: “I really do think we all want to get past the pettiness, the personal attacks.”

“Let’s not put anybody down. Instead, let’s lift each other up. Let’s bring out the absolute best from our fellow Americans — every single one of them from every single community,” he added.

On health care, O’Rourke once again called for universal coverage but wasn’t married to “Medicare-for-all,” which many of his rivals for the nomination support.

“I think Medicare-for-all is one of the possible paths. I think the fastest way to get there is to ensure that people who have insurance that they like through their employer are able to keep it and we compliment that with those who can purchase Medicare.”

The interview came during O’Rourke’s three-day swing through Iowa, the state that votes first in the presidential caucus and primary calendar. The candidate’s expected to hold a formal kick-off on March 30 in his hometown of El Paso.

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Bernie Sanders’ hiring of non-American campaign advisers may violate federal election laws, complaint says

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New spokeswoman for Bernie Sanders won't be able to vote for him in 2020 -- she's an illegal immigrant

Bernie Sanders was hit a complaint this week, claiming his presidential campaign violated federal election laws by employing non-Americans in advisery positions.

A new complaint by the Coolidge Reagan Foundation filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) notes that three members of the Sanders campaign are foreign nationals, which appears to be a violation of federal election laws that prohibit foreign interference.

NEW SPOKESWOMAN FOR BERNIE SANDERS WON’T BE ABLE TO VOTE FOR HIM IN 2020 — SHE’S AN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT

Maria Belén Sisa, Sanders’ deputy national press secretary who joined the campaign last month, was among the staffers named in the complaint, as first reported by the Washington Free Beacon. Sisa claims to be an illegal immigrant whose residency is protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama-era program for assisting illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

Sisa recently caused an uproar after invoking an anti-Semitic “dual allegiance” trope of Jewish Americans while defending Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and questioning whether American Jews, including Sanders, were loyal to the United States.

The complaint notes that Sisa not only got a salary from Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, she also contributed money to it and is now serving in “an advisory position” in the 2020 campaign – all of which are “direct and serious violations” of federal election laws.

“Senator Sanders and Bernie 2020 is permitting a foreign national, Ms. Sisa, to serve in an advisory position which allows her to directly or indirectly participate in the decision-making process of persons with regard to election-related activities in violation of FEC regulations,” the complaint reads.

“Senator Sanders and Bernie 2020 is permitting a foreign national, Ms. Sisa, to serve in an advisory position which allows her to directly or indirectly participate in the decision-making process of persons with regard to election-related activities in violation of FEC regulations.”

— The complaint

BERNIE SANDERS AIDE DEFENDS OMAR WITH TERM SEEN AS ANTI-SEMITIC, APOLOGIZES

According to the FEC rules, foreign nationals, who aren’t lawfully admitted permanent residents, cannot directly or indirectly participate in political campaigns. Such individuals are also barred from making political contributions.

The complaint also names two other foreign nationals on the Sanders’ 2016 campaign, immigration activists Erika Andiola and Cesar Vargas, who worked as the campaign’s national Latino outreach strategist and press secretary for Latino outreach, respectively.

“Due to the high profile of Cesar Vargas, Erika Andiola, and Maria Belén Sisa as leading activists in the undocumented community, there is reason to believe that respondents are ‘foreign nationals’ within the meaning of 52 U.S.C. § 301219b)(2), and in violation of 11 C.F.R. § 110.20 (i) and A.O. 2004-26, directly or indirectly participated in the decision-making process of persons with regard to the election-related activities of Bernie 2016,” the complaint continued.

“There is reason to believe, having previously employed Ms. Sisa, that Bernie 2020 is currently, and knowingly, permitting a ‘foreign national’ … to directly or indirectly participate in the decision-making process of persons with regard to the election-related activities of Bernie 2020.”

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The complaint calls on the FEC to investigate both the 2016 and the current presidential campaigns and take action to curb the violations.

“The Commission should determine and impose appropriate sanctions for any and all violations,” the complaint read. “Further, the Commission should enjoin respondents from any future violations and impose any necessary and appropriate remedies to ensure respondents’ future compliance with the Federal Election Campaign Act.”

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Democrats vow to keep investigating Trump despite Mueller's conclusions, no new indictments

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Congressional Democrats vowed Friday to keep investigating President Trump, his family, and associates despite Special Counsel Robert Mueller wrapping up his Russia investigation with no new indictments.

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‘There needs to be a reckoning’ for those who spread Russia collusion narrative: Mollie Hemingway

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MSNBC’s Chris Matthews livid over Mueller report: ‘How could they let Trump off the hook?’

Those who spent the last two years pushing the narrative that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election need to be held accountable, the Federalist senior editor Mollie Hemingway argued Friday.

Earlier in the day, the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller handed in its report on the Russia investigation to the Department of Justice and it was announced that no new indictments would be forthcoming.

During Friday’s All-Star panel segment on Fox News’ “Special Report with Bret Baier,” Hemingway — along with Washington Free Beacon editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti and Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason — weighed in on the breaking news that reverberated throughout Washington.

MUELLER SUBMITS LONG-AWAITED RUSSIA PROBE REPORT TO JUSTICE DEPARTMENT

Hemingway began by noting that the “Russia narrative” predates the Mueller probe, having begun circulating during the 2016 election after the creation of the infamous Clinton campaign-funded Steele dossier, which pushed the theory that then-Republican candidate Donald Trump was a “Russian agent.”

“We have, for the last three years … frequently [witnessed] hysteria about treasonous collusion with Russia to steal the 2016 election,” Hemingway told the panel. “The fact [is] that there are no more indictments coming and the fact [is] that all of the indictments that we’ve seen thus far have been for process crimes or things unrelated to what we were told by so many people in the media was ‘treasonous collusion’ to steal the 2016 election.”

“If there is nothing there that matches what we’ve heard from the media for many years, there needs to be a reckoning and the people who spread this theory both inside and outside the government who were not critical and who did not behave appropriately need to be held accountable,” she added.

“The people who spread this theory both inside and outside the government … and who did not behave appropriately need to be held accountable.”

— Mollie Hemingway, senior editor, the Federalist

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Mason told the panel that there’s likely “some relief” in the White House, particularly from Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and top adviser. And while he insisted it was “too early” to draw major conclusions, he later added that those who attacked Mueller’s credibility throughout his investigation will have to walk back their hostility if he concludes that there was no collusion, including President Trump.

Meanwhile, Continetti suggested that the Mueller report could be the “greatest anticlimax in American history,” and that the entire investigation could be “for nothing” because it was “an investigation without a crime.” He did, however, insist that the “battle will continue” as the White House will fight Congress on transparency of the Mueller findings.

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